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Opinion Equality does not infringe on anyone’s rights

Protesters block the street outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8, 2019.
Protesters block the street outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

I’m finding Republicans’ “concern” about the Equality Act very tiresome, a tuneless diatribe they’ve been chanting for decades. In the Feb. 19 news article “Legislation expanding LGBT protections is introduced,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was quoted as saying he opposes the act because of its lack of “religious liberty protections.” The last administration illustrated how Republican principles exist on a sliding spectrum and very quickly become fluid when opportunities arise to promote and advance the party’s agenda of hate and separatism. For Republicans, the Constitution is either ignored or becomes a suggestion and less of a founding document on which the principles of democracy have thrived for nearly two and a half centuries.  

I invite all of them, or at least the ones who know of the document, to confer with their pocket Constitution and educate themselves on the amendment, adopted in 1791, that explicitly reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It does not get much clearer than that. 

The Equality Act does not take away or infringe on the rights, liberties and/or protections of any other person or group. It is necessary so that we may continue to strive to live up to the potential of our declaration that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [humans] are created equal.” We have a long way to go to fully realize that potential, and, unfortunately, the Equality Act is necessary to get us a little closer to that dream.   

M.J. Kessler-Vaughn, Washington

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